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Old 4 Sep 15, 12:05 PM  
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CrispyA
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Howdy Texas! Day 1 Fort Worth and Arlington

As ever, we were awake pretty early. From 4.00am, Paul was like a toddler at Christmas -

"Can I put the light on?"

"No."

5 minutes later

"Can I put the light on now?"

"No!"

I gave him my tablet so he could watch some TED talks with headphones on and eventually, we all accepted we were awake at about 5.30am.

We took our time with showers etc and watching American TV before heading down to breakfast before 7.00am. We had heard good things about the breakfast at the Country Inn and Suites and it didn't disappoint - good hot choices, including biscuits and gravy, with waffles, fruit, toast, cereals etc. The coffee was good too.

As we were up so early, we thought we may as well hit Walmart for snacks and drinks etc. It wasn't too far away and had a pretty good selection of clothes as well - although they do have more Men's stuff than Women's, especially when it comes to Wranglers etc.

Evan got the baseball glove he was after and we also got a selection of Texas Rangers stuff as we were seeing them later. Not sure why it is so exciting to go to a supermarket overseas but we do like a Walmart trip! Can't imagine Americans going nuts in a Morrisons somehow . . .

Once we had dropped everything back at the hotel, we headed out again - this time to check out the Stockyards at Fort Worth. It was pretty easy to find and we were all enjoying the SUV, which had been named Denise. We have a Honda Jazz in the UK, so this car was ENORMOUS compared to that, but it was so comfortable and we loved having the space. This is Denise!



Once parked up at the Stockyards, we walked to the main street to meet the Cowboys and Cowgirls and watch the Cattle Drive. Fort Worth was a hub for cowboys moving cattle across the US in the olden days and with both Paul and me having just read the Lonesome Dove series, it was really exciting to see the old style buildings and all the information from the cowboy era.



It was incredibly hot (around 100F), so we rested in the shade until 11.30am. Hannah treated herself to a hat from one of the stalls as well - looking like a proper cowgirl.





Twice a day (at 11.30 and 4.00pm), the Cowboys and Girls drive the Longhorn cattle along the main street. The road is cleared and then these magnificent beasts wander slowly along the road, while the cowboys call and usher them along.



It's a real throwback to the old West and we could just imagine the Hat Creek Company from Lonesome Dove with these cattle. Those horns are seriously long!

After that, we headed into Fort Worth - to the Justin's Outlet. Paul and I had bought cowboy boots in Vegas last year and when we found out that Justin Boots had an outlet in Fort Worth, we had to check it out. Both kids fancied a pair of boots also, so we had a pleasant half hour mooching and trying on loads of pairs until we found the best that fitted us. They weren't cheap, but cheaper than somewhere like Bootbarn. Evan's feet are still growing but currently they are a similar size to mine, so my cunning plan is to inherit his boots when he grows out of them. Can never have too many pairs of boots ...



We called to Whataburger on the way back to the hotel. Whataburger is a Texas burger chain so we had to try it. The woman at the counter didn't understand about Hannah being a vegetarian at first (guess they don't get many!) but then suggested a garden salad for her which was fine. The burgers, like In and Out Burger, are freshly made and brought to your table, along with a selection of ketchups. It was all really tasty and Hannah discovered a taste for Southern Sweet Tea as well. The server also brought Hannah some cranberries to add to her salad, which was very kind of her.

We dropped the boots off at the hotel and then got ready to go to the ballgame - Texas Rangers vs Houston Astros. We had loved watching baseball last time we were in the US, so had planned this trip around a couple of games. This time, we were Rangers fans but we were seeing the Astros later on in Houston.

Firstly though, we had a tour of the Dallas Cowboys stadium booked. It's opposite Globe Life Park, where the Rangers play, so it made sense to do it before the game.



We've gained a new understanding and appreciation of American Football from watching Friday Night Lights, so seeing the stadium where the Dillon Panthers played for State was an added excitement. The tour was really good - there is a lot of art around the stadium and we got to see the players and cheerleaders locker rooms as well as the executive boxes, seats and back corridors. We couldn't go onto the field as it was being prepared for a corporate event but we got to see it from all angles. The place is huge!



After the tour, we headed for Globe Life Park. Getting out of the car, the heat hit us and the short walk to the stadium was hard work. Fortunately, there were water fountains in the stadium, as it was roasting hot and we got through a lot of water!



The game was great and we took full advantage of Dollar hotdog Wednesday - as did everyone around us!

It was a good game, with the Rangers winning 4-3. There was a home run in the second innings, which earned everyone there a Denny's voucher!

We were all pretty shattered by the end of the game as it had been such an early start, and all but collapsed into bed when we got back from Arlington. Great first day though!

Edited at 02:25 PM.
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Old 4 Sep 15, 05:24 PM  
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Capt Wilko
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Great first day and love, love, love the cowboy boots.

Really enjoyed reading about your 4 state West Coast road trip and I'm looking forward to hearing more about Texas.

Like yourself my family caught a Yankees/Astros baseball game in NY on 24th August although sadly no home runs. We loved the family atmosphere in the stadium and there was always so much happening on the big screen it was hard to concentrate on the pitch, would definitely go to another game.
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Old 4 Sep 15, 09:20 PM  
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Melbatb
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Another one who loves the boots! What a great first day - you did well to stay up for the baseball!
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Old 5 Sep 15, 03:27 PM  
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CrispyA
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Originally Posted by Capt Wilko View Post
Great first day and love, love, love the cowboy boots.

Really enjoyed reading about your 4 state West Coast road trip and I'm looking forward to hearing more about Texas.

Like yourself my family caught a Yankees/Astros baseball game in NY on 24th August although sadly no home runs. We loved the family atmosphere in the stadium and there was always so much happening on the big screen it was hard to concentrate on the pitch, would definitely go to another game.
Glad you enjoyed our trip report - I love reading other people's!

I think one of the reasons we like baseball so much is because of the atmosphere - the game feels like a real occasion, rather than just another sporting event.
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Old 5 Sep 15, 03:27 PM  
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CrispyA
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Originally Posted by Melbatb View Post
Another one who loves the boots! What a great first day - you did well to stay up for the baseball!
I know! Looking back, I can't believe how much we crammed in to one day. We were flagging a bit at the end of the game - and were quite relieved it didn't go to more than 9 innings.
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Old 5 Sep 15, 05:39 PM  
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I want to catch a match some day ... Dreams!
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Old 9 Sep 15, 09:32 PM  
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Your first day looked fab. We're going to Texas at the end of our trip next year and I don't know where to start with planning. Your report is definitely giving me some ideas. We fly into San Francisco on May 31 and out of Dallas on June 22 so at the moment I don't even know how long we'll be in Texas!
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Old 10 Sep 15, 08:13 PM  
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CrispyA
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Originally Posted by pammiep View Post
Your first day looked fab. We're going to Texas at the end of our trip next year and I don't know where to start with planning. Your report is definitely giving me some ideas. We fly into San Francisco on May 31 and out of Dallas on June 22 so at the moment I don't even know how long we'll be in Texas!
Wow, that sounds like a fun trip! We loved all of Texas, so I'm sure you'll enjoy whichever part you go to.
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Old 11 Sep 15, 07:11 AM  
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Great start to your trip. Loving your report. I love all things cowboy and would like to visit one day. I also enjoyed Friday nights lights. Go Panthers!
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Old 12 Sep 15, 04:45 PM  
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A brilliant day and I love the boots
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